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First Drive: Toyota Hilux

By / 2 years ago / Road Tests / No Comments

SECTOR Pick-up PRICE £19,177–£29,435 FUEL 36.2–40.4mpg co2 185–204g/km

Toyota’ s Hilux pick-up has for many years been a by-word for the tough truck sector. With more than 18m sold throughout the world since 1968, Hilux has been everywhere, from the builders’ yard to the North Pole.

The eighth generation of Toyota’s classic, though following a well-proven formula, is all new. It has a new chassis, a downsized engine, revised transmissions and an updated interior. The promise is lower fuel consumption, a better driving experience and greater load lugging and towing capability.

Physically larger in almost every way, Hilux doesn’t feel over-sized on UK roads, like some competitors. It remains fairly slim and is easy to thread through traffic, with an impressive turning circle for a 4×4.

They are all four-wheel drive, there is no 4×2 in this generation, though customers can choose between single, extra and double cabs. Around 75% of UK buyers will go for the double cab, with 20% taking the single cab. The cargo deck is wider and this generation of Hilux will be able to tow 3.5 tonnes later this year. However, current homologation limits the towing limit to 3.2 tonnes, so check before you order.

The downsized 2.4-litre D-4D diesel engine delivers 148hp and a hefty 400Nm of torque, which is more torque than the last generation 3.0-litre engine. Toyota claims up to 40.4mpg and 185g/km for the 2.4-litre with a manual gear box.

There are six-speed manual and automatic transmissions on offer and Toyota expects at least 50% of UK buyers to go the auto route. Some countries are getting a larger engine, but for now at least, Toyota GB is sticking with the single output. Service intervals are a relatively conservative one year/10,000 miles, though Hilux does now come with Toyota’s five year/100,000 mile LCV warranty.

There are four trim levels, with the entry-level Active expected to grab 25% of UK sales. Icon will take 10% of registrations, while the increasingly popular Invincible model should get 45%. The range-topping Invincible X is aiming for 20% of UK sales.

All come with a host of airbags, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, a cooled front storage box and, apart from single cab models, heated door mirrors. Icon trim adds a 4.2-inch display screen, cruise control, DAB and folding door mirrors, along with 17-inch alloys, front fogs, rear privacy glass and a Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system.

Invincible has Toyota Safety Sense, a colour multi-information display, 18-inch alloys, Smart Entry and Start (keyless), auto headlamp levelling and electric steering wheel adjustment. It also includes auto air conditioning, dusk sensing headlights and chrome side steps.

Invincible X adds new 18-inch alloys, a chrome pack, leather upholstery with heated front seats, Toyota Touch 2 with Go sat nav and on-board connectivity functions, together with three years’ map and connectivity updates. There are also front and rear parking sensors. This latest Hilux drives well, both on and off the road. The engine is reasonably strong, though the power tails off fairly swiftly as the revs rise and some might look for a bit more particularly if towing.

Given the strength of the opposition, it will be interesting to see if Toyota’s decision not to bring a more powerful engine to the market will cost sales. CV OTR prices start at £19,177 for an Active grade single cab, rising to £29,435 for the Invincible X double cab with an auto box.

What we think

Toyota's eighth Hilux was certainly worth the wait, delivering a much improved drive with a host of new technologies in and under the cab. Relatively restrained engine output should prove popular with working fleets.


  • Increased power plus six-speed manual and auto boxes
  • 40.4mpg and 185g/km for manual extended and double-cab models
  • Five year/100,000 mile LCV warranty

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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